And now, thanks to lockdown life and long, cold winter evenings, the trend for garish footwear has infiltrated another category: slippers.
As staying in became the new going out and we traded the office for our living rooms, so too did cosy house-shoes replace chunky brogues and sky-high heels, with this new stay-at-home mentality putting comfort front and centre.
But, there’s nothing fashion lovers enjoy more than flipping the script when it comes to the rules – so it came as no surprise to learn that the ugly slipper has become a new staple among stylish homebodies.
Luxury fashion designers have presented their own takes on the puffed-up slipper on recent runways, with Louis Vuitton’s pillow comfort ankle boots proving such a hit that they have quickly become a favourite among celebrities, with everyone from Selena Gomez to Sophie Turner spotted wearing a pair.
But, at £850 a pop, these padded boots are seriously pricey, meaning that getting your hands on a pair is likely to remain a pipe dream for the majority of us.
The good news is that fashion’s most unexpected brand of the moment, The North Face, has also dipped its toe into the world of not-so run-of-the-mill slippers to deliver an affordable version of the bulbous house shoes.
Known as the thermoball v traction mules, the slippers cost £50 and are made with the same insulating technology as the brand’s cult puffer jackets.
They have received rave reviews for their ability to keep your feet cosy and ward off sub-zero temperatures, with one person describing them as a “sleeping bag for your feet”.
It’s been a big year for comfortable footwear, but with more weeks of cold weather and working from home ahead of us, now is the perfect time to invest. However, you’ll need to be quick if you want to get your hands on a pair, because they’re already selling out fast.
Here’s everything you need to know about the thermoball v traction mules, which are available for both men and women.
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The North Face men’s thermoball v traction mules
The North Face is a go-to brand for stylish outdoor gear and, thanks to their high-traction rubber outsoles, these slippers are a practical footwear option that can be worn both in and out of your home.
Warm and comfortable, they are made with the same heat-trapping insulation technology as the brand’s bestselling puffer jackets, meaning they help to reduce heat loss and increase warmth, even in the coldest temperatures.
The slippers also have a cosy fleece lining, while the tough ripstop material and rubber soles mean they are well suited, whether you’re popping out to grab the morning paper or relaxing after a long walk.
Available in sizes 6 to 13, they come in an array of colour options, including gold, blue, black, and camo.
Buy now £50.00, House of Fraser
If you’d prefer, you can also preorder the slippers from the brand’s own website (£50, Thenorthface.co.uk). If you have smaller feet, or fancy picking up a pair in a different colour, there is a women’s style too (£35.19, Amazon.co.uk), available in sizes 3 to 9.5 and in plenty of shades including a pale blue, grey and classic black.
For more cosy footwear inspiration, read our guide to the best women’s slippers